Institute For Policy Studies Announces 1998 Winners Of The Letelier Moffitt Human Rights Awards

July 8, 1998. Today in Washington, D.C., the Institute for Policy Studies is releasing the names of two outstanding human rights advocates who will receive the 1998 Letelier Moffitt Human Rights Awards. The awards ceremony, which this year celebrates its 22nd anniversary, was established to honor two IPS colleagues who were assassinated in Washington, DC by the Chilean secret police: Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean ambassador to the United States and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, an IPS fundraiser.

IPS, an independent research institute, has been one of the nation's leading formulators and advocates of progressive ideas for 35 years.

The 1998 awards will be presented October 1, 1998 at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC, at 7:00 p.m. Recipients include:

International Award: Coordinación Colombia-Europa.

Coordinación Colombia-Europa is a coalition of more than 50 national, regional and local human rights groups in Colombia. Formed in Bogotá in June 1996, it has become a strong and unified force in confronting the worsening human rights situation in Colombia. The Coordinación includes organizations that have worked internationally in the United States and Europe over the last 10 years as well as dozens of local and regional grassroots groups that work in some of the most remote and conflict-ridden regions of Colombia.

Together with its partner office in Brussels, the International Office for Human Rights-Colombia Action (OIDHACO), they have been lobbying the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the European Union, and European governments. They were instrumental in the establishment of an Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bogotá in early 1997, one of only two such offices in the world.

All of the Coordinación's member organizations have worked courageously amidst threats, pressure, and killings and almost every group has lost members to political violence.

Domestic Award: Rose Mary Sanders

Rose M. Sanders is a longtime leader in the fight for justice for the poor and oppressed. A graduate from Harvard Law School in 1969, she became the first African American female judge in the state of Alabama. She is currently a practicing attorney based in Selma, Alabama.

Sanders is leading the struggle in the South to end "tracking" in public schools, which Sanders believes relegates children of poverty and color to unequal opportunities and subhuman societal conditions. Sanders has lead the effort to define and shape "education apartheid" as a human rights issue.

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